North America’s leading embedded commerce solution, has raised a $21 million CAD Series A led by Toronto-based Framework Venture Partners. Bonsai’s vision is to enable checkout across the internet by allowing publishers and retailers to sell to consumers at the point of discovery, enabling a frictionless buying experience for online shoppers.
The solution allows publishers to convert affiliate links into an on-site cart and checkout flow, rewarding their creation of buyer intent by retaining higher margins compared to incumbent affiliate networks, owning the buyer experience throughout, and capturing valuable first-party data. For online retailers, Bonsai provides an alternative, performance-based customer acquisition channel to Facebook and Google.
After first launching in January 2021, Bonsai’s embedded commerce solution has already been adopted by media conglomerates such as BuzzFeed and Vox Media Group, and highly influential digital publishers like Well+Good, Refinery29 and PureWow.
Bonsai has integrations to over 350+ retailers and brands, a 4x growth rate from the year prior, including household enterprise partners and DTC brands. In October 2021, Afterpay partnered with Bonsai to bring “Buy Now, Pay Later” to online publishers and make Bonsai available to its extensive merchant network.
With over 4 million integrated products at competitive commissions and thousands of customer orders fulfilled, Bonsai has one of the industry’s most competitive catalog offerings.
“Bonsai has the strongest merchant integrations and the most number of publisher implementations we’ve seen in the market. This, combined with a deep understanding of publisher affiliate businesses, makes Bonsai a unique and compelling player in the checkout provider landscape,” said Andrew Lugsdin, co-founder of Framework Venture Partners.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to build existing product capabilities and explore new product verticals. In addition, Bonsai plans to expand its retail partner supply into new categories, which are currently centered around fashion and beauty. The company also plans to once again double the size of its team over the next year and a half.
“We know that customers discover what products to buy outside of publisher content,” explains Saad Siddiqui, “And Bonsai is now well-equipped to explore what those additional embedded commerce applications may look like — while continuing to power seamless checkout for our publishers and provide merchants even more places to sell their products.”
I have over 10 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.